Monday, March 30, 2015

So after my Generations Skids broke, I decided to get a new one on eBay.  I hadn't looked for anything on eBay for quite some time and as such, I had a ton of followed searches with new hits that needed to be cleared out.  I just can't stand seeing all of those alerts.  While clearing out the alerts, I ran across Hosehead for $50, complete.  That's around half of what he normally goes for on eBay, so I was intrigued.  Couple that with $25 in eBay Bucks, and I decided to take a chance.  That's right, I effectively bought a complete Hosehead for the measly sum of $25.  I was hesitant to pull the trigger because the description only stated that the joints were tight and the stickers were in good condition.  Still, leaps of faith need to be taken every once in a while.
This is my second time owning Hosehead.  I originally purchased him when he was first released, but he was stolen from me in my younger days.  Hosehead has always been one of my favorite Headmasters and one of my favorite Transformers overall.  Seeing as how I didn't take the time to ask the seller any questions due to the cheap price, I was initially very worried that I would get a very bad figure.  Turns out I was wrong.  The joints on this guy are tight enough to be brand new.  The majority of Hosehead's body is red, and the little touches of gray and black just make him pop.  Hosehead's deco is so nice that Takara didn't change anything when they released him as Cab in the Super-God Masterforce series.
Hosehead transforms into a firetruck.  I never thought of myself as a fire engine kind of guy, but I realized that Inferno and Hot Spot are also some of my other favorite figures.  Maybe I've always wanted to be a firefighter deep down?
While Nightbeat and Siren are able to seat their Nebulons inside and actual cockpit in vehicle mode, Hosehead is forced to seat Lug out in the open.  Poor guy.  The antennae attach can attach to the sides of the firetruck for some added firepower.
Hosehead's ladder can extend and has a fire suppressant attachment at the end.  It's a neat look.
I can't believe that I only paid $25 for Hosehead.  That's unthinkable.  Finding deals like this allow me to continue adding to my collection without putting a hurt on my finances.  It's also extremely fun looking for deals.  Wonder what I'll find next for a good price?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Robotech 30th Anniversary 1/100th Scale Miriya VF-1J With Super Armor

Last week, I reviewed the VF-1A and while Miriya's veritech is essentially the same figure with a different head and deco, this instance is a bit different.  After I had opened my VF-1A, I noticed that his head was completely broken off, so while I waited for the return process to pay off, I did some digging around on the Internet and discovered that Super Armor sets were available for the 1/100th scale figures.  BigBadToyStore didn't have any, but ToyWiz did.  I wasn't certain what would come of my adventures with Max's veritech, so I decided to just get the armor for Miriya's.
As you can see, I have added the decals to Miriya.  The armor basically just plugs into ports on the body.  To add the thrusters, there are tabs on the backpack that need to be removed and then new ones installed.  The Super Armor set comes with new missiles which look much better than the original ones.
Here's an overhead shot of the VF-1J.  Very reminiscent of Jetfire, for obvious reasons.
Gerwalk mode.  I must say, these figures look so much better with the Super Armor.  Miriya's veritech is downright resplendent in red with the gray armor.  The decals make a huge difference as well.  One thing that I noticed with my particular figure is that there is blue on right leg where there should be red.  The left leg has the correct red where the landing gear are.  No matter, as it really doesn't detract from the overall impressiveness of the figure.
Battroid mode just looks great.  The two antennae versions always look superior, in my mind.  I was worried that the addition of the thrusters on the back would lead to some stability problems, but that wasn't the case.
Whereas my VF-1A could not fully be supported on the stand in anything but jet mode, the VF-1J has no such problem.
A nice addition to the armor set is the cannon.  The front of the thruster is removable and the cannon just pops in.  I don't remember the cannons ever being used on the show, but according to the instructions, this is for a movie-styled look.  I haven't seen the movie, so I'll just take the instruction's at their word. 
Hopefully, Max's solid blue gets released as I'd really like to get that with the Super Armor.  Why didn't I get Rick Hunter's veritech or even Roy Fokker's?  Simple - I never really cared for them.  They look fine, but Max and Miriya have veritech's that just really stand out.  Thus concludes my foray into the world of Robotech figures.  For now. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Robotech 30th Anniversary 1/100th Scale VF-1A Max Sterling

That's a heck of a title.  Robotech figures are generally pretty pricey, especially since they have not been released in a few years.  Sure, there are some bargains to be had with the Masterpiece Beta Fighters that no one seems to want, but the rest of the 1/55th scale figures are just too pricey when the super armor is factored in.  No matter, as Toynami have re-released their 1/100th scale figures with new packaging in time for Robotech's 30th anniversary.  While I didn't get everyone, I did manage to pick up two from the, hopefully, first wave.  I say hopefully because I'm hoping that there will be a second wave.  First up, Max Sterling's VF-1A.
This is the mainly white version with hints of blue.  Not my favorite iteration of Max's veritech, but I'm hoping that the full blue version is released soon.  While the 1/100th scale is small, about the size of a Generations Deluxe figure, it comes packed with accessories.  Each figure comes with four sets of missiles and four missile boxes.  The landing gear are detachable and don't actually store in the jet.  Overall, this is an extremely light figure.
One of the other accessories furnished with Max is a stand.  This stand comes with three attachments, one for each mode.  In jet mode, the gun is able to be displayed.  Sadly, this is the only mode that I was able to use with the stand as the rest of the modes would not securely stay on the stand.
As you can see, my VF-1A looks rather plain as I haven't added decals yet.
Gerwalk mode is pretty much what you'd expect if you are at all familiar with Robotech or have ever owned Jetfire.  What I do like about the rifle is that the stock extends.  Along with the missiles and stand, Max also comes with five different hands for various poses. 
In gerwalk mode, I'm using the gun fist and a closed fist.
Battroid mode is where it's at.  The canopy is removable and is replaced by a blast shield while in this mode.  The top of the chest actually clips into the blast shield.  There is a peg on the rifle that allows it to be attached to the forearm.  My only complaint with the figure comes with this mode.  The armature that the legs are attached to is really flimsy.  This makes the figure a bit fragile.
Leg fragility aside, this is a very poseable figure.  I've been able to do a ton of poses.  The 1/100th scale figure feature up/down and left to right articulation at the neck, shoulder, elbow, hip, thigh, and lower thigh articulation.  The legs and elbows also rotate a full 360 degrees.
Here, I'm using the left hand that allows him to hold the barrel of his rifle.  Looking at this, I can't help but remember that I'm not a fan of the single antenna veritechs.
This is perhaps my favorite pose.  There is a fifth hand included, an open left hand.  I was unsure of what to do with it until I came up with this pose.  My kids thought I was crazy when coming up with this pose because I kept kneeling on the floor trying to figure out how the legs would work.  Some waist articulation would lead to an even better pose, but veritechs aren't known for that.
Did Max Sterling's veritech satiate my desire for a full on 1/55th scale figure?  Not in the slightest.  However, he is a very nice figure, leg fragility aside.  I would have included the second 1/100th scale figure I got in this review, but I did a little something different with that particular figure.  You'll be able to see exactly what next week.  Salut!

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Robotech Primer For My Next Set of Reviews

I'm going to go ahead and just blame Maz for this up front; we'll get to the whys later.  Back in the 1980's, I collected a few other series like M.A.S.K., Star Wars, and Masters of the Universe.  While I had figures or vehicles from those series, I never really had a ton.  Out of the three aforementioned series, I maybe had more Masters of the Universe than of the other two.  While I may have had things from different series, Transformers remained my overall favorite.  Nothing could touch my love for Transformers.  Except for Robotech.
Image from
I think that it's important for me to draw a distinction here.  When I talk about Robotech, I'm not talking about Macross.  What I loved was the Harmony Gold series that combined Macross, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA.  While I never really cared for the middle installment of Robotech, the first and third captivated me.  The stories were mature, and the alien baddies were awesome.  More than that, the mechs were just fantastic.
Robotech: New Generation
Sadly, as much as I loved Robotech, the toys were kind of a mess.  I remember one of the first Robotech toys I ever got was from my father in 1985.  He was at sea in Asia and shipped us a care package.  Inside was a set of Robolinks, a Super-Deformed Veritech, and a Veritech model.  The model was assembled and promptly broken because I was 8 and the model was more for an adult.  Breaking that model scared the crap out of me.  Were all toys that transformed this brittle?
A selection of Super-Deformed Veritechs
Keep in mind, that this was all before I had even seen the show.  Later in the year, the show premiered, and I was hooked.  But as I said earlier, the toys were a bit of a disaster.  It seemed that every store I went to had tons of the Matchbox stuff, but they were horrible.  The 3 3/4" figures were ugly, and the Veritechs didn't even transform.  I felt completely gypped.  All I wanted was a transforming Veritech fighter.  When I did get Robotech stuff for Christmas or a birthday, I was more than likely given something like this:
Dolza.  Image from Final Frontier Toys
It wasn't until 1987 that I really started to find and get Robotech figures that I wanted.  In one Christmas, I got all three Alpha fighters by Gakken, which were available at Children's World toy stores, an Invid Shock Trooper by Matchbox, and an Officer's Battlepod, also by Matchbox.  That was in addition to getting Fortress Maximus.  A few months later, I found Scott Bernard's Cyclone at Children's Palace.  I was in hog heaven, for I finally had what I was looking for: Transforming Robotech!  Still, no Valkyries.  Not even a stinking Jetfire to my name.
Photo from Scorched Earth Toys
Sadly, over the years and the many, many moves I made being a Navy Brat, I've lost everything with the exception of Rook's Alpha fighter, and it's in such horrible shape that I'd rather not let anyone ever see it.  It's a crying shame.

I had pretty much driven away my desire for anything associated with Robotech after many years of focusing on things like women, music, and other pursuits.  Even when my Transformers obsession reared it's ugly head around 2001, Robotech didn't even enter my mind.  Then I read Maz's Macross Project on his blog and just looking at the figures stirred something in me.  Once I read every single post and devoured every single picture on his blog about Macross, I scoured eBay like a man possessed.  One thing I learned doing all of this scouring is that Robotech figures are all freaking expensive, certainly too rich for my tastes considering that I'm trying the complete a G1 collection.  Why spend extra money when I already have a goal that I'm working towards?  This has forced me to watch on the sidelines.  That is until Toynami released some 1/100th scale figures to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Robotech.  Sold!  While not 1/55th scale, what I really want, maybe these would tide me over.  Stay tuned to see if they did the trick!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why I'm Glad I Broke My Generations Skids

So I was rearranging my figures the other day and when I got to Generations Skids, I decided to transform him into robot mode.  For some reason, I decided that his legs were assembled incorrectly and it had to be fixed.  I was wrong.  While trying to put a leg back on, I broke the ball joint from the hip!
I was incensed.  And saddened.  I went to eBay to find a replacement, because I knew that there was no way to find one at a retail store.  Luckily, I found a loose one in great condition for a good price.  So why am I glad that I broke Skids?  Well, since I was looking late at night, I found more than I bargained for at great prices.  The next round of vintage figures featured here over the next few weeks were absolute steals.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Painted Top Scourge
I'm going to start off this review with an admission: I really didn't want Scourge.  You read that right.  Scourge, in my eyes is emblematic of most of the 1986 figures, what with the weird face and gangly design.  Thanks to Floro Dery, I nearly swore off getting anything that he designed.  Then I remembered about figures like Blurr.  Figures that, while not great, represent characters that I have greatly enjoyed.  Floro Dery just did a horrible, horrible job designing figures.
Here are the original designs for Scourge.  On the left, we have Floro's design, which is what the toy is kind of based on.  The one on the right is a redesign that was used for animation.  The original Dery Scourge looks like an old, broken man.  They should have given him a cane.  On to the toy.
Whenever I read about painted top Scourge or stickered Scourge, I really had no idea what they were talking about.  I knew that the painted version was released first, but I still couldn't spot any differences.  Being observant isn't really my thing.

I will admit that the hovercraft mode is pretty nifty looking, even if it invokes a flying ironing board.  Having never seen a Scourge in person until I got this one, I didn't realize that there was a little flap to cover Scourge's face while in this mode.  I had always imagined that it just pushed down, thanks to Scourge constantly using his head while in this mode in the movie and series.  It's odd that the rifle and head-mounted rocket (thruster?) aren't interchangeable. 
Scourge once owned a razor, but then he lost it.
Judging from the Scourge's box art, I'm wondering if Scourge was originally going to have a more complex transformation.  The wings are inverted on the box, which gives a different look and gives Scourge actual wings.  Instead, the toy version seems to have furled wings, at best.  Also, there's the knee joints, which I don't entirely understand.
Going for a stroll
Let's see if I can get this straight.  Scourge can't rotate his head, or bend at the hips, but he can look like he's about to kick a ball?  And really, the only way to get the knees to bend in any purposeful way is to fiddle with the rear kibble a bit and bend the foot back. 
I had a lot of reservations getting Scourge.  Floro Dery has tainted most of the 1986 line, in my mind.  Off looking faces, facial hair, it all added up to things that I just didn't care for.  Whatever reservations I had before, they're still there, but in a diminished capacity.  Having said that, Blurr will probably be my last Floro designed figure, sorry Wreck-Gar.  Well, I guess I'll be getting the Targetmaster versions of Scourge, Cyclonus, and Blurr since I really like Targetmasters.

Monday, March 2, 2015

I love Powermasters.  I currently do not have that many Powermasters.  Well, that's not true.  I'm currently only missing Joyride and Dreadwind thanks to my recent purchase of Getaway.
Sadly, this isn't the whitest Getaway, but I decided to get him for two reasons: price and box.  The price was too good to pass up, and I really wanted a Powermaster box.  I really only wanted to box for the art on the back.  I've sold off every G1 box I've had up to this point, but the Powermaster and Pretender box art is just something really special.
It's certainly the best drawn of the US released stuff, and it's really the last of the epic battles depicted on the boxes.  After this, the box art kind of devolved into comic style art that, frankly, wasn't so great.  But the images of Skullgrin and Landmine phasing out of their shells, the look on Doubledealer's face, it all adds up to some striking art.  Back to Getaway.
One of the main reasons that I love Powermasters is the way they look with their engines attached.  Getaway is perhaps the best looking of the Autobots in vehicle mode.  With Rev attached, he looks like a powerful racing machine.
Speaking of Rev, here he is in non-engine mode.  He's a typical Powermaster Nebulan.
Getaway has one of the more complex transformations of the Autobot Powermasters.  He twists at the waist and roof of the car also rotates during transformation.  The twisting waist gives another option for posing since Getaway's legs are fused together and he has the barest of articulation with his arms.
Finally, a shot of Getaway and Rev together.  They make a nice pair.  Next week, I'll have yet another vintage figure!